DELAND, Fla., February 5, 2014 – Florida Hospital DeLand’s Heartburn Clinic now offers manometry and pH testing services to assist in diagnosing, treating and monitoring patients’ esophagus (food pipe) issues.
“These two new tests are important because frequent or chronic heartburn may be associated with a more serious problem known as GERD, otherwise known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or more simply known as acid reflux disease,” said Florida Hospital DeLand gastroenterologist Dr. Martin Prado. “Damage caused by GERD can lead to more serious medical problems such as difficulty swallowing, which is called dysphagia, narrowing of the esophagus called strictures, or Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that is often the beginning stages of esophageal cancer, the most rapidly-rising form of cancer in the U.S.”
Esophageal manometry is a test that can evaluate the causes of gastric reflux, heartburn, difficulty swallowing and functional chest pain. It assesses the pressure and motor function of the esophagus and evaluates how well the muscles in the esophagus work to transport liquids or food from the mouth into the stomach.
Through pH testing, Dr. Prado can detect stomach acid in the esophagus, which could mean that the muscles are not functioning properly and are inadvertently allowing acids to regurgitate from the stomach.
During this pH test, a capsule approximately the size of a gelcap is attached to the esophagus. This capsule measures the pH in the esophagus and transmits this information to a small receiver worn on the patient’s belt or waistband for about 48 hours.
During this time, patients eat normally and go about their daily routine as usual, but are asked to document in a journal the times when reflux symptoms occur. After the test is completed, patients return their personal journals and the receiver to Dr. Prado, who then analyzes the results. Several days after the test, the capsule naturally falls off the wall of the esophagus and naturally passes through the digestive tract.
About Florida Hospital DeLand
Florida Hospital DeLand is a 156-bed full-service hospital providing inpatient and outpatient services in addition to 24-hour emergency and critical care. The hospital is a member of the Adventist Health System, the largest Protestant not-for-profit hospital system in the nation and works to provide exceptional, patient-focused care to the DeLand community. Florida Hospital DeLand is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Disease-Specific Care Certified by the Joint Commission in Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Surgery. Additionally, the hospital is Chest Pain Accredited with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) and is also a Certified Stroke Center. For more information about Florida Hospital DeLand, visit www.fhdeland.org.
Florida Hospital DeLand gastroenterologist Dr. Martin Prado talks to a patient before she undergoes esophageal manometry testing to determine the cause of her heartburn. Manometry testing is a new test available at Florida Hospital DeLand’s Heartburn Clinic and it assesses the pressure and motor function of the esophagus and evaluates how well the muscles in the esophagus work to transport liquids or food from the mouth into the stomach.